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Carbon dioxide emissions like those from coal-fired power plants should be taxed to spur energy innovation. Luke Sharrett for The New York Times

The coming climate crash

While SCNCC doesn’t necessary agree with many of the prescriptions and conclusions of this article, it is an interesting and important point of view from a political insider on the coming “climate bubble”. Identified earlier in Bill McKibben’s Rolling Stone piece “Global warming’s terrifying new math”, the climate bubble refers to the idea that the planet’s carbon reserves (upon which the large fossil fuel companies present valuation is measured) cannot be exploited  without provoking runaway climate catastrophe.

THERE is a time for weighing evidence and a time for acting. And if there’s one thing I’ve learned throughout my work in finance, government and conservation, it is to act before problems become too big to manage.

For too many years, we failed to rein in the excesses building up in the nation’s financial markets. When the credit bubble burst in 2008, the damage was devastating. Millions suffered. Many still do.

We’re making the same mistake today with climate change. We’re staring down a climate bubble that poses enormous risks to both our environment and economy. The warning signs are clear and growing more urgent as the risks go unchecked.

This is a crisis we can’t afford to ignore. I feel as if I’m watching as we fly in slow motion on a collision course toward a giant mountain. We can see the crash coming, and yet we’re sitting on our hands rather than altering course.

We need to act now, even though there is much disagreement, including from members of my own Republican Party, on how to address this issue while remaining economically competitive. They’re right to consider the economic implications. But we must not lose sight of the profound economic risks of doing nothing.

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